Short Term Rentals Project

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Over the last few years, the RDEK has heard an increase in public concern regarding short term rental accommodations (STRs).

The RDEK Board has recognized that pursuing management options of STRs is desirable and as a result public consultation, issue identification and management options for STRs was identified as a 2021 strategic priority.

The goal of this planning process is to determine best management options to address STRs.

WHAT IS A SHORT TERM RENTAL?

STRs refers to the accommodation of paying guests in an entire single family dwelling, room(s) within a single family dwelling, secondary suite, apartment or condo for less than 30 days.

PLANNING PROCESS

Clearly identifying and prioritizing goals is fundamental to the successful outcome of this planning process. Public consultation will be extremely important as every community within the RDEK will have its own unique context and motivations for potentially regulating STRs. The planning process will take into consideration public feedback as well as STR operator, stakeholder and tourism industry interests. Discussions with the public as well as tourism agencies and local businesses with be important in an attempt to balance the residential nature of communities with tourism opportunities.

THE UPSURGE OF SHORT TERM RENTALS

STRs are not new. People have been renting their homes, cottages or cabins for decades, what is new is the online platforms which create dedicated websites to automate and advertise these rental properties. This has caused a shift from “home-sharing” to commercial operations and as a result neighborhoods have seen the following benefits as well as concerns related to STRs:

POTENTIAL BENEFITS

  • Income generation
    • Income is generated not only by the property owner but also support workers such as cleaners, property managers, etc.
  • Higher housing values
    • This could also be considered a harm in communities facing housing affordability challenges, however, current property owners may be able to benefit financially
  • Greater accommodation choices for travellers and guests
  • Local Experiences
    • Guests can benefit from having a more personalized experience
    • Opportunity to draw more permanent residents if experience is more “local”
  • Quick, New Tourist Accommodation
    • STRs can add additional tourist accommodation without the need for development of major infrastructure such as hotels and roadways
  • Support for the Local Tourism Economy
  • Greater Neighborhood Distribution of Wealth
    • Attracting visitors to areas outside of traditional tourist areas may increase profits to those areas

POTENTIAL CONCERNS

  • Housing loss
    • STRs have the potential to remove long term rental rooms and purchasable properties
  • Housing Unaffordability
    • STRs decrease the affordability of housing as it may become more scarce
  • Unfair advantages
    • STR operators are not subject to the same level of regulation or taxation as traditional accommodation providers
  • Revenue Loss
    • STR operators may not collect nor remit local taxes
    • STR operators may draw guests away from traditional accommodations that do pay local taxes
  • Increased Contraventions of Local Regulations
    • Guests may not be aware of local zoning, noise, parking or garbage regulations
  • Community Disruption
    • Short term renters may not be invested in the community the same way that a long-term resident may be
  • Reinforced Inequities
    • STR platforms create value from the use of residential housing and provide advertising. The owners of the house are therefore privileged in a way that traditional accommodations such as Bed and Breakfast providers may not be.

ENFORCEMENT

If the decision is made to regulate short term rentals, it is recognized that if a regulation cannot be enforced in a clear, cost-effective, practical manner the regulation should not be considered.

Over the last few years, the RDEK has heard an increase in public concern regarding short term rental accommodations (STRs).

The RDEK Board has recognized that pursuing management options of STRs is desirable and as a result public consultation, issue identification and management options for STRs was identified as a 2021 strategic priority.

The goal of this planning process is to determine best management options to address STRs.

WHAT IS A SHORT TERM RENTAL?

STRs refers to the accommodation of paying guests in an entire single family dwelling, room(s) within a single family dwelling, secondary suite, apartment or condo for less than 30 days.

PLANNING PROCESS

Clearly identifying and prioritizing goals is fundamental to the successful outcome of this planning process. Public consultation will be extremely important as every community within the RDEK will have its own unique context and motivations for potentially regulating STRs. The planning process will take into consideration public feedback as well as STR operator, stakeholder and tourism industry interests. Discussions with the public as well as tourism agencies and local businesses with be important in an attempt to balance the residential nature of communities with tourism opportunities.

THE UPSURGE OF SHORT TERM RENTALS

STRs are not new. People have been renting their homes, cottages or cabins for decades, what is new is the online platforms which create dedicated websites to automate and advertise these rental properties. This has caused a shift from “home-sharing” to commercial operations and as a result neighborhoods have seen the following benefits as well as concerns related to STRs:

POTENTIAL BENEFITS

  • Income generation
    • Income is generated not only by the property owner but also support workers such as cleaners, property managers, etc.
  • Higher housing values
    • This could also be considered a harm in communities facing housing affordability challenges, however, current property owners may be able to benefit financially
  • Greater accommodation choices for travellers and guests
  • Local Experiences
    • Guests can benefit from having a more personalized experience
    • Opportunity to draw more permanent residents if experience is more “local”
  • Quick, New Tourist Accommodation
    • STRs can add additional tourist accommodation without the need for development of major infrastructure such as hotels and roadways
  • Support for the Local Tourism Economy
  • Greater Neighborhood Distribution of Wealth
    • Attracting visitors to areas outside of traditional tourist areas may increase profits to those areas

POTENTIAL CONCERNS

  • Housing loss
    • STRs have the potential to remove long term rental rooms and purchasable properties
  • Housing Unaffordability
    • STRs decrease the affordability of housing as it may become more scarce
  • Unfair advantages
    • STR operators are not subject to the same level of regulation or taxation as traditional accommodation providers
  • Revenue Loss
    • STR operators may not collect nor remit local taxes
    • STR operators may draw guests away from traditional accommodations that do pay local taxes
  • Increased Contraventions of Local Regulations
    • Guests may not be aware of local zoning, noise, parking or garbage regulations
  • Community Disruption
    • Short term renters may not be invested in the community the same way that a long-term resident may be
  • Reinforced Inequities
    • STR platforms create value from the use of residential housing and provide advertising. The owners of the house are therefore privileged in a way that traditional accommodations such as Bed and Breakfast providers may not be.

ENFORCEMENT

If the decision is made to regulate short term rentals, it is recognized that if a regulation cannot be enforced in a clear, cost-effective, practical manner the regulation should not be considered.

  • Thank you for participating in this survey. The input from the public is a critical component of this project, and this survey is one of the ways we will use the public's feedback to inform the process.  

    Survey deadline: August 4, 2021

    Please note: the information provided is anonymous. If you have questions or would like a response to anything provided in the survey, please leave your name and email address at the end of the survey.

    If you are unsure which Electoral Area you live in, click on this MAP LINK.

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